4 Ways Retailers Can Leverage Loyalty Cards for Innovative Incentives

Loyalty Cards as Innovative Consumer Incentives

Today’s consumers are more fickle than ever, with a constant barrage of daily ads, offers and promotions, they have more choice than ever before. These days’ consumers can shop online via laptop, tablet, good old desktop, or even the television – all at the same time if they want. In the retail world, this level of “choice” has seemly led to a decline in complicated – and often diluted promotion programs – like gift cards, miles and credit programs. Instead, leading consumers to embrace more traditional, less complicated rewards like cash back promotion programs, purchase based incentives and instant gratification rewards.

The average Canadian consumer holds over 7 loyalty, memberships and discount cards in their wallet at a given time, so they know a deal when they see one. Consumers have grown smarter, so its’ up to retailers to offer rewards that are valuable to their customer, and dare I say actually offer good-will towards them.

With the increased market pressure and declining margins, retailers need to act quickly to drive customer traffic in new and exciting ways. Loyalty cards present a unique alternative to complicated and seemingly outdated reward programs, for these 4 reasons:

They’re More Rewarding

While discounts and rewards are awesome, nothing beats cold hard cash. Visa® or MasterCard® incentives cards hold a unique advantage in that they can be distributed easily and spent, just like cash, anywhere you like. The flexible nature of the card allows retailers to load and reload the card, as needed with any reward amount. What’s also unique is the ability to tie down redemption to a particular store or area. Better yet, offer an open use card program for the ultimate reward card that customers can use at millions of locations worldwide.

They’re Social

Everyone likes getting a reward! What’s better than getting a reward? Sharing that you’ve received a coveted reward! Take Starbucks for example. I like Starbucks coffee, but I love to show my friends that I have more points than them and use my gold card with my name on it. The idea, give them a reward they can share! But like one unlucky Tim Hortons winner found, make sure you do not take a picture of your card number and post it online.

They’re More Flexible

Unlike closed loop gift cards and traditional retail gift cards, Visa® or MasterCard® incentive cards allow the recipient to spend rewards on what they desire most. Whether that is a toaster or a flat screen TV, leaving the reward decision up to the recipient fosters true loyalty. Take into account the recent changes by Starbucks, stepping up to a loyalty card solution instead of the common retail card program. They’re Trackable

Many retail loyalty programs do little to influence the consumer to spend more money or purchase more products. They do however; excel in gathering consumer information and preferences. Shopper data has become big business in the minds of today’s retailers. Large or small, the notion of getting to Know Your Customer (KYC) has become more and more of a priority for top retailers. While shopper preferences can be easily tracked inside the store with today’s programs, they tend to stop there. Open-loop incentive cards on the other hand, allow merchants to track customer purchase habits from various levels. This allows retailers to generate valuable insight into the purchasing habits of their customers, both inside and outside of their stores – an important distinction. The ability to pin point customers purchasing behaviors for future promotions is invaluable. Specialized consumer data offers an advantage in a very competitive industry.. I know #mindblown.


Retail Incentive Programs

Let us help you create a program of your own. For more information on incentives, rebates, or any other type of promotion strategy contact DCR Strategies Inc. by clicking here.

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